20 Best Winter Coffee Drinks To Warm You Up This Cold Season

Winter is coming... Thankfully, we're not in Game of Thrones. However, with winter just around the corner, we need to find ways to keep ourselves warmed up during this season.

For me, drinking coffee in winter is the best way to keep warm.

So, I listed all the best winter coffee drinks you need to try this holiday season. Some are classic drinks, while others are uniquely made for this time of the year.

1. Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee

Nothing warms you up like a shot of alcohol in the winter, right? Fortunately, there’s a drink that has both alcohol and caffeine in it, and I’m pretty sure you all know what I’m talking about.

The Irish coffee, also known as alcoholic coffee, traditionally contains Irish whisky, hot coffee, and sugar, topped with cream.

You’ll find modern recipes that don’t contain alcohol, which of course, can still warm you up, just not the way a traditional one would.

However, I find that the traditional recipe works better for cold weather. Here’s my favorite Irish coffee recipe:

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup of brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 jigger of Irish whiskey
  • Heavy cream, lightly whipped

Instructions

  • 1
    Preheat your mug by filling it with hot water, then emptying it.
  • 2
    Next, pour the hot coffee into the mug, about ¾ full.
  • 3
    Mix in the sugar until it dissolves. Then, add the whiskey.
  • 4
    Pour the cream on top, and enjoy!
Barista HQ Tip: Try Starbucks Irish Cream Cold Brew for a nonalcoholic version.[1]

2. Snickerdoodle Latte

Starbucks Iced Snicker Doodle Latte

If you love snickerdoodles, this winter latte is for you. Like the beloved cookie, this winter coffee beverage tastes sweet with a little hint of spice, thanks to the cinnamon flavor.

Although most coffee shops don't offer this drink, you can still order it at Starbucks if you have the recipe.

This Starbucks secret menu latte recipe is very easy to memorize. To order this spiced coffee at Starbucks, ask for a Cinnamon Dolce Latte with white mocha syrup and breve.

3. Eggnog Latte

Starbucks Eggnog Latte

The holiday season won't be complete without eggnog, right?

However, you don't need to wait for the holidays to enjoy this creamy beverage. With eggnog lattes, you can have a holiday spirit all winter long.

Follow this coffee recipe to enjoy a creamy warm cup of eggnog latte in the comforts of your home:

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup of hot coffee
  • ⅔ cup of eggnog
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • A pinch of ground nutmeg for topping
  • Whipped cream
  • Sugar or any sweetener you prefer
  • Optional: Cinnamon stick for garnishing

Extra Info:

  • 1
    In a small pot, heat the eggnog over low to medium heat. Make sure you keep it below a rolling boil, then simmer.
  • 2
    Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweetener if you want a sweeter drink. Whisk the mixture continuously until it's thick.
  • 3
    Brew a cup of coffee. It's best to make a stronger one, as the sweetness of the eggnog will balance the flavor of the drink.
  • 4
    Add the eggnog to your coffee--the eggnog will act as the creamer to the coffee, which is why it's a great addition. Then top it with whipped cream, a cinnamon stick, and a pinch of ground nutmeg.

4. Hazelnut Mocha

Hazelnut Mocha

Are you more of a classic drink kind of guy? If so, the hazelnut mocha is the perfect winter coffee for you. This chocolatey and nutty concoction will instantly capture anyone's heart.

The best part? No need to go anywhere to enjoy this hot coffee; you can simply follow the Starbucks home recipe, and you'll have a hazelnut mocha in no time.[2]

5. Gingerbread Latte

Gingerbread Latte

Fancy a gingerbread in a cup? The gingerbread latte is the winter drink for you.

It has everything you need in unique winter coffee drinks: sweet and caffeinated, with a little kick to heat you during the cold weather.

Here’s how you can make gingerbread lattes at home:

What You’ll Need

  • 1 ½ cups of almond milk (or any milk of choice)
  • 1 shot of espresso (a cup of freshly brewed coffee is also okay if you don’t have an espresso machine)
  • ⅛ teaspoon of ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of molasses as a sweetener (other sweeteners are also okay)

Instructions

  • 1
    Brew your coffee or make your espresso. If you want a stronger drink, add more espresso shots.
  • 2
    Pour your milk into a small bowl and heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  • 3
    Once the milk is heated, add the spices: ginger, cinnamon, molasses, and nutmeg to the milk. Whisk until all ingredients are well blended.
  • 4
    Pour the milk into a coffee mug and pour the espresso on top. Serve and enjoy!

6. Peppermint Mocha

Starbucks Peppermint Mocha

This drink has become one of the most popular holiday drinks, thanks to Starbucks' holiday specials. This is a genius drink, given that mint chocolate is simply yummy.

If you’re feeling lazy, you can order a Starbucks peppermint mocha to warm up.

However, if you feel like serving peppermint mochas to your guest or just want to recreate this drink at home, follow this peppermint mocha recipe:

What You’ll Need

  • ¾ cup of whole milk
  • ¾ cup of brewed espresso or strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of peppermint syrup or ½ peppermint candy cane (You can also use ¼ teaspoon mint extract)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional toppings: whipped cream, chocolate syrup, or chocolate shavings

Instructions

  • 1
    Add milk, cocoa powder, and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until bubbles start forming on the edge and the sugar is dissolved.
  • 2
    Then, mix in the espresso, vanilla extract, and peppermint syrup, then turn off the heat. If you’re using candy canes, make sure it’s dissolved before you turn off the heat.
  • 3
    Pour in a cup and add your toppings. Serve.

7. Brown Sugar Latte

Iced Brown Sugar Latte

If you love lattes a lot, experimenting with different varieties of lattes can be great winter coffee ideas. One version that’s becoming increasingly popular now is the brown sugar latte.

Here’s how you can make this classic latte with a twist at home:

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup of coffee
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon caramel sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Instructions

  • 1
    In a small saucepan, heat milk, caramel sauce, and sugar over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Froth milk mixture using a hand-held frother. If you don’t have one, a whisk will be enough. However, you won’t achieve the right milk foam consistency.
  • 2
    Pour some of the milk mixture into a cup, leaving a bit of foam for topping.
  • 3
    Add the coffee into the cup and top it with foam. Enjoy and get cozy with this delicious cup.
Barista HQ Tip: Making some peppermint mocha for friends? Add a dash of peppermint schnapps instead of peppermint syrup for the boozy kick.

8. Smoked Butterscotch Latte

Smoked Butterscotch Latte

If you want your morning to be extra special, a smoked butterscotch latte is an excellent breakfast drink. It’s not too sweet like a caramel latte, but it gives that decadent, buttery flavor you love in a caramel.

The best thing about this holiday coffee is that you don’t need to make it at home! This unique latte can be ordered at Starbucks.[3]

9. Pistachio Latte

Pistachio Latte

Another variety of latte you can enjoy this winter is the pistachio latte.

Like the smoked butterscotch latte, you can enjoy this beverage without lifting a finger because Starbucks has got you covered.[4]

Nutty, creamy, and velvety--this is what you’ll get in a cup of this winter coffee drink.

10. Dirty Iced Chai Latte

Starbucks Iced Dirty Chai Latte

You're probably wondering why I've added an iced drink to this list. Well, the dirty iced chai latte isn't your ordinary iced drink.

It's made with different spices that can give you the heat you need to get warm and cozy.

Here’s how to make one of the most popular winter coffee recipes:

What You’ll Need

  • 2 bags of black tea
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 4 shots of espresso (more coffee if you want it stronger)
  • 4 tablespoon date syrup (or honey)
  • 4 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground star anise
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Ice

Instructions

  • 1
    In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until it begins to bubble on the edges.
  • 2
    Add the tea bags, turn off the heat, and let the tea steep for 5 minutes.
  • 3
    Once the tea is steeped, remove the bags.
  • 4
    Add spices, maple syrup, and date syrup.
  • 5
    Pour the chai into a glass and top with espresso. Slowly stir in the ice. If you want a dirty chai latte, skip the ice.

11. Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

Starbucks Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

If you’re looking for a merry treat, the toasted white chocolate mocha is for you.

This Starbucks holiday drink is simply delightful.[5] It is made with caramelized white chocolate and creamy milk, topped with holiday white sugar and crispy white pearls--yummy, indeed!

12. Caramel Brulee Latte

Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte

Caramel comes in many varieties, and one of my favorites is caramel brulee.

Unlink the normal caramel that can be overly sweet, this variety has toasted flavors, perfect for those who don’t enjoy a sweet taste.

Instead of making this at home, you can order it from your local Starbucks store.[6]

13. Red Velvet Latte

Red Velvet latte

Are you looking for something to serve during the holidays? If you want a unique holiday drink, this latte recipe is for you.

Unlike other coffee drink recipes, this recipe is made to not only taste good but also to look good, thanks to the food coloring added to the drink.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon red food coloring
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup freshly brewed coffee
  • 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • Optional: whipped cream and white chocolate chips for toppings

Instructions

  • 1
    Place milk in a saucepan and heat over medium to low heat.
  • 2
    Add sugar to the pan and simmer, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
  • 3
    Remove from heat.
  • 4
    Then, add chocolate chunks until melted. Stir in food coloring, vanilla extract, and coffee.
  • 5
    Top the drink with whipped cream and white chocolate chips.

14. Mexican Coffee

Mexican Coffee

It's not only the Irish that has thought to spike their coffee with liquor but also the Mexicans.

Instead of whiskey, this alcoholic coffee uses tequila and any coffee-flavored liqueur--a sip can keep you warm right away. Here's how you can make one:

What You’ll Need

  • A shot or two of espresso
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of simple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of tequila
  • 2 tablespoons of Kahlua (or any coffee-flavored liqueur)
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Whipped cream for toppings

Instructions

  • 1
    Heat the milk over low to medium heat until the edges bubble.
  • 2
    Add a dash of cinnamon and the simple syrup, and stir.
  • 3
    Turn the heat off and pour the milk into a cup. Add the espresso shots, tequila, Kahlua, and then top with whipped cream and cinnamon powder. If you’re feeling fancy, serve it in a martini glass.

15. Spiced Cinnamon Dolce Latte

Cinnamon Dolce Latte

Too tired to make a winter coffee at home? No problem; Starbucks is here to save the day.

It's simply a classic latte with a twist! The added cinnamon dolce syrup and cinnamon dolce topping make this drink perfect for the winter.[7]

16. S'mores Latte

Smores Latte

If you’re a fan of s’mores, this latte drink is for you. It’s very easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. My favorite recipe is the Starbucks S’mores Latte recipe--it’s quick and simple.[8]

If you want to make this kid-friendly, ditch the coffee and use hot chocolate instead. It’s definitely a treat you can’t resist.

You can also order a Campfire Mocha at Caribou Coffee if you’re not in the mood to make one yourself.

17. Toasted Chestnut Praline Latte

Iced Chestnut Praline Latte

Nutty and spicy--this is what you get in every cup of Toasted Chestnut Praline latte.[9]

Sipping this hot drink will definitely get you into a jolly mood, and the best part? You just need a quick trip to your local Starbucks.

18. Cinnamon Roll Iced Coffee

Iced Cinnamon Roll Latte

Can't get enough cinnamon rolls? If so, this winter drink is for you. It may be iced, but the cinnamon kick is enough to warm you up. Here's how to make this drink:

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup of cold brew (or iced coffee)
  • ¼ cup of half-and-half
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon maple extract
  • Whipped cream
  • Ice

Instructions

  • 1
    Mix in the cinnamon and maple extract into the cold brew. I like to use a cocktail shaker to ensure that the flavors are blended into the coffee.
  • 2
    Pour the mixture into a glass, then add the half-and-half.
  • 3
    Top it with whipped cream and cinnamon powder. Serve and enjoy.

19. Horchata Latte

Horchata Latte

If you have time to spare, the horchata latte is an excellent drink to make during winter. The preparation may take a while, but if you want just something to keep you busy, this is for you.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup of long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of milk
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 4 shots of espresso or 1 cup of strong coffee

Instructions

  • 1
    Soak the rice in the water for at least 4 hours a day in the refrigerator.
  • 2
    Then, pour the rice and water into a high-speed blender. Add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, sugar, and milk. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
  • 3
    Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth, fine-mesh strainer, or paper coffee filter to strain out the rice pieces.
  • 4
    Next, pour the espresso shots into the four cups. (One shot for each cup)
  • 5
    Lastly, pour the horchata mix into the cups, serve, and enjoy!

20. Salted Caramel Mocha

Salted Caramel Mocha

If you love dessert coffee drinks, salted caramel mocha is for you.

This Starbucks special is salty and chocolatey--a combination of flavors that’s addicting.[10] Just be careful, though; it’s high in sugar and calories.

Best Winter Coffee Drinks At Popular Coffee Shops

Starbucks

  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Salted caramel mocha
  • Spiced cinnamon dolce latte

Caribou Coffee

  • Campfire mocha
  • Mint condition mocha
  • Caramel high rise

Black Rock Coffee

  • Irish coffee
  • Mexican mocha
  • Blackout

Common Winter Coffee Drink Questions

Can I drink iced coffee in winter?

Definitely, you can drink iced coffee in the winter. I recommend iced coffee drinks with spices like cinnamon or nutmeg for some heat.

What is the best winter coffee drink with alcohol?

The best winter alcoholic coffee is Irish coffee. The whiskey does a great job of keeping you warm during the cold weather.

What is the most consumed Christmas coffee?

The most consumed Christmas coffee beverage is the Peppermint mocha, available at nearly all local coffee shops.


Conclusion

Hopefully, these winter coffee ideas can keep you warm throughout the winter season. Some coffee drinks can be purchased in your favorite coffee shops, while others are coffee recipes you can make at home. 

My favorite drinks are the eggnog latte and hazelnut mocha, but feel free to try everything on this list!

References:

1. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2123139/iced
2. https://athome.starbucks.com/recipe/hazelnut-mocha-au-lait
3. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2121722/hot
4. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2123404/hot
5. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2122482/hot
6. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/517/hot
7. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/414/hot?parent=%2Fdrinks%2Fhot-coffees%2Flattes
8. https://www.starbucksathome.com/ca/en-ca/recipes/smores-latte
9. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/873068661/hot
10. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/761/hot?parent=%2Fdrinks%2Fhot-coffees%2Fmochas

Kim Fernandez

Author

Kim Fernandez
Kim offers a unique perspective on coffee culture and trends. Kim's writing is personal and experiential, providing readers with firsthand advice on the latest in coffee. Beyond her writing, Kim is an avid explorer of new coffee trends and spots, always seeking to share the most genuine advice and latest trends. True to her love for coffee, you'll often find her in a café, immersed in a book with a freshly brewed cup of joe.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... A freshly brewed cup of joe

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